Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Red Dot Review

Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Red Dot Review

An Inexpensive Gun Red Dot Sight Alternative

Today, we’ll delve into the world of inexpensive Red Dot sights. Starting with the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Red Dot Review. If you’ve priced Red Dot sights before, you know they run the gamut on pricing. So, let’s dive in and explore the features, installation, battery life, durability, performance, and much more of this red dot sight.

Introduction to the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Red Dot

Crimson Trace CTS-25 Red Dot

The Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight is designed for rifles and carbines. It boasts a 4.0 MOA round aiming dot, allowing for quick and precise target acquisition. This red dot sight can be easily installed on M1913 Picatinny rail sections thanks to its removable riser. Convenience is key, and with its side-accessible battery compartment, you can seamlessly replace the CR2032 battery without dismounting the sight.

What is MOA

A 4.0 MOA (Minute of Angle) round aiming dot refers to the size of the red dot reticle used in optics, such as red dot sights. The MOA measurement is an angular unit, and in this context, it signifies the diameter of the illuminated dot projected by the sight at a specific distance. For example, a 4.0 MOA dot means that the dot will appear to cover an area roughly equivalent to 4 minutes of angle when viewed from a distance.

To put it in practical terms, at 100 yards, a 4.0 MOA dot would cover an area of approximately 4.18 inches (100 yards * tan(4 MOA) = 4.18 inches). This measurement increases linearly with distance. A larger MOA value generally means a larger reticle, which can be advantageous for acquiring targets quickly but may be less precise for long-range shooting. Smaller MOA values, on the other hand, offer a finer aiming point, suitable for more precise shots but may take longer to acquire the target.

CTS-25 Features

The Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight offers a range of features that you’ll find on most Red Dot sights. Controls are easy to locate with caps on elevation and windage adjustments. As previously stated, you can miss the battery door, and it’s easy to change on the fly. Brightness controls are on the top, labeled with plus and minus marks, and everything needed for standard installation is included.

  • 4.0 MOA Round Aiming Dot: The sight has a 4.0 MOA round aiming dot, providing quick and precise target acquisition.
  • Removable Riser for Rail Mounting: The CTS-25 has a removable riser, making it easy to mount the sight on M1913 Picatinny rail sections. This feature provides versatility and allows for customization based on individual shooting preferences.
  • Side Accessible Battery Compartment: The sight features a convenient side-accessible battery compartment. It comes with a CR2032 battery, ensuring you have everything you need for immediate use. The battery is easily replaceable without the need to dismount the sight from the rail.
  • Shock, Impact, Fog, Water, and Vibration Resistant: Built to withstand tough shooting conditions, the CTS-25 is designed to be shock, impact, fog, water, and vibration resistant.
  • High-Efficiency LED: The sight has a high-efficiency LED, providing a bright and clear reticle. This feature offers more visibility in low-light conditions.
  • Large Function Buttons: The sight’s large function buttons make it easy to adjust brightness settings.
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty: The CTS-25 Compact Sight has a limited lifetime warranty. This warranty guarantees that the sight will be repaired or replaced if there are any defects in materials or workmanship.

Installation and Mounting of the CTS-25 Compact Red Dot

Installing and mounting the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight is a breeze. Designed to fit M1913 Picatinny rail sections, this sight has a removable riser that allows easy rail mounting. With just a few simple steps, you can have your sight securely attached and ready for action.

Installation Process

The Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight installation process is straightforward and can be completed in minutes. We opted to install the Red Dot on a HK MP5 22 LR. This firearm does not have a Picatinny rail, so we picked up the rail attachment for the HK. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Clean Mounting Location

Ensure your firearm’s Picatinny rail section is clean and free from debris or obstructions. In our case, we used an additional riser to supply the Picatinny rail, as the HK’s receiver doesn’t have a rail.

Align and Place CTS-25 on Rail

Crimson trace allan bolts

To place the Red Dot, you may have to back the bottom two Allan bolts off to enable the base to install or slide it onto the rail. You’ll feel it lock in place.

Once lined up and in the position desired, you’ll tighten the bottom 2 Allan bolts with the Allan wrench supplied with the CTS-25. The top two Allan bolts are to remove the Red Dot from the Riser.

Apply Light Strength Loctite and Tighten Into Place

Confirm that the sight is securely attached and does not move or wobble when touched.

cRIMSON tRACE cts-25 INSTALLED ON hk mp5 22 lr

That’s it! Time to sight it in. On a side note, one of the benefits of the HK MP5 install is the stock sights are still usable through the hollow base of the mount riser. So, if your battery ever dies on the CTS-25, you can seamlessly use the stock sights without removing the Red Dot.

Typical Installation Steps For Install Table

Installation StepsDescription
1Ensure a clean and debris-free Picatinny rail section.
2Align and position the sight’s mounting bracket on the rail.
3Slide the sight forward until it locks securely into place.
4Confirm the sight is stable and not prone to movement.
5Adjust the sight’s position and angle to your preference.

Battery Life of the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight

Crimson trace CTS-25 battery housing and battery

The Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight states it has a 50-hour battery life. I have not been able to test that, but that would be considered on the low end in Red Dots. The Red Dot is shipped with a CR2032 battery so you can use it immediately.

When the battery eventually needs to be replaced, you’ll find it incredibly convenient. The CTS-25 Compact Sight features a side-accessible battery compartment, allowing

you to replace the battery without dismounting the sight from the rail.

The Durability of the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight

I’d be lying about durability if I said I had run it through the wringer. I know other people who have run it on various firearms and have read many reviews. Frankly, they are pretty all over the place. I can find many people who rave about it and others who state it wasn’t worth the small price tag.

In the many perspectives I’ve heard, I have noticed some common threads;

  • Some folks who have used them for AR-15 caliber firearms have had issues with holding zero and the hardiness of the Red Dot.
  • Battery life has been reported as overstated by some users.
  • Very few people who’ve installed it on lower caliber rifles, like the 22-LR, have had complaints.

You must assess the purpose of the Red Dot before purchasing it. However, I have talked to and read reviews from users who have used it on AR platforms and were pleased. Factors like how often you shoot, how much demand you put on your firearms, and your intended purpose should be considered.

Price and Availability of the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Red Dot

The Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight is about as affordable as you can get for a rifle Red Dot. With an MSRP of $79.99, it offers excellent value. However, if you dig around a bit, you can often find it at a discounted price, with some retailers offering it for as low as $65.

Warranty and Customer Support for the CTS-25

The Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight comes with a limited lifetime warranty. This warranty ensures that the sight is covered against any defects in materials or workmanship. Should any issues arise, Crimson Trace will repair or replace the sight as necessary.

Pros of the CTS-25 Compact Red Dot Sight

I’ve likely shot north of 50 different Red Dots, and the CTS-25 is the least expensive but not the worst. It is a very affordable entry-level Red Dot. The sight’s ease of installation and zeroing-in process are straightforward and user-friendly. After roughly 400 rounds, the CTS-25 held zero well. The riser adds convenience and customization options, allowing you to find the right height for your setup.

One of the standout benefits of the CTS-25 Compact Red Dot Sight is its versatility. It is particularly well-suited for low-recoil applications, such as .22LR firearms, providing users with enhanced target acquisition. On the HK MP5, the stock sights were viewable through the base of the riser without having to remove either.

Key Benefits of the CTS-25 Compact Red Dot Sight:

  • Cost-effective option for budget-conscious shooters
  • Easy installation and zeroing-in process
  • Consistent zero retention with small caliber rounds
  • Respectable construction and durability
  • Versatile for low-recoil applications, such as .22LR firearms

Cons of the CTS-25 Compact Red Dot Sight

While the CTS-25 Compact Red Dot Sight does have features that merit consideration, depending on your demands of the Red Dot sight, it is not without a few drawbacks.

  • I did not love the eye relief of the optic; it is also a small sight picture, so it is not ideal in a self-defense scenario.
  • I recommend investing in a higher-end Red Dot or sticking with your factory sights for a self-defense firearm.
  • Limit the CTS-25 to low-recoil, smaller-caliber firearms.

However, knowing the limitations still leaves this as a great, affordable option for target shooting and plinking. It is more fun to shoot than standard sites, and for those transitioning to shooting with both eyes open, it’s a good starting optic.

Conclusion: Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Red Dot Review

In conclusion, the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight (01-02030) is a viable red dot for many firearms. With its user-friendly features, this sight provides accurate targeting and enhances the fun factor while shooting.

While other options are available, the CTS-25 Compact Sight stands out among anything else in its price range. Its compact size and easy installation make it suitable for a wide range of smaller caliber rifles and carbines.

This sight is an excellent addition to a 22 LR you love to take out and have fun with. In addition, as an entry-level Red Dot, it will not break the bank and introduce you to Red Dot shooting. For more experienced shooters, if you have a rifle you picked up on the cheap and don’t want to spend twice as much on optics than you did on the firearm, this will hold up the fun factor.

FAQs: Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Red Dot Review

What is the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight?

The Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight is a red dot sight designed for rifles and carbines.

What is the aiming dot size on the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight?

The Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight features a 4.0 MOA round aiming dot.

How is the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight installed?

The Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight is easily installed on M1913 Picatinny rail sections.

What is the battery life of the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight?

The Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Red Dot has a battery spec’d at 50 hours.

What is the price and availability of the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight?

The Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight is available at an MSRP of $79.99 and can be found from various retailers.

Does the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight come with a warranty?

Yes, the Crimson Trace CTS-25 Compact Sight has a limited lifetime warranty.

Author

  • Michael Hodgdon

    A firearm, shooting, outdoor, and hunting enthusiast for over 35 years. Thank you all for the suggestions on topics you would like to see; we'll keep posting as you keep sending them in. Please comment; we will try to answer all comments quickly.

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